How Fire Training Drills In The Workplace Save Lives and Businesses
Keurig machines, copiers and a few too many meetings. These and more are what workplaces are about. Who wouldn’t expect a fire in this outpost of combustible what-nots? It happens to many times- every day in office buildings all throughout the country.
When a fire breaks out in the workplace, employees are at risk for injuries, and their lives are at stake. That’s why companies and their leaders have to take time for a fire training program, such as fire drills at work. With fire drills scheduled regularly, a company can establish a plan in case a fire happens and employees can exit the building unharmed.
Why Is It Important To Conduct Fire Drills In The Workplace?
Statistics indicate that over 3,340 fires in office properties ensure every year. It is therefore wise for companies to implement regular fire drills. Landlords and office managements in fact require this procedure in their leases.
Nonetheless, fire drills as a procedure are not only implemented for potential fires but are actually for any emergency, such as an active shooter or another natural disaster. It is important to teach employees evacuation skills, and this is a major requirement for all offices.
Repetition Is Crucial
If you ask a school-age kid, he or she will probably mention having gone through a fire training drill within the last few months. In schools, fire drills are consistently repeated so that they become routine, and eventually a habit. The goal is to let students know the fire training drill procedure without really giving it a thought. This is when the “Seven P’s” should be remembered: Proper prior planning and preparation prevents poor performance.
It’s primarily “hoping for the best and expecting the worst” when it comes to fire drills. Employees normally don’t go to work anticipating that their beige cubicle would be on fire. Then again, a lot of them basically don’t know where the fire exits in their buildings are! It is possible as well that exit doors may be jammed or are partially blocked. These issues are revealed and prevented during fire training drills.
Drills, As A Culture, Save Lives
A gripping story about disaster drill training is that of Rick Rescorla who was the security chief of Morgan Stanley. On the September 11, 2001 attack, Rescorla was able to safely lead 2,700 employees of the Morgan Stanley company out of the South Tower of the World Trade Center.
Earlier in 1993, Rescorla was able to survive the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers. Following thus, he became certain that an attack could possibly happen again, eventually. Rescorla then implemented orderly and quick evacuation drill programs for Morgan Stanley employees every three months. The drills may be initially intended for terrorist attacks, but they were effective in inculcating fire training skills, too. With his leadership and foresight, Rescorla was able to save lives.
A Detailed Fire Evacuation Plan Must Be Developed
When conducting a fire drill in the workplace, a detailed fire evacuation plan must be developed where various factors are considered. Some of them are potential areas wherein fires could start. These may be the kitchen where there are vulnerable appliances or the warehouse where chemicals are contained. What about during the summer season? Are wildfires a threat to the business?
The following are the highlights of implementing a detailed fire evacuation plan. The company should be able to:
Verify the roles and responsibilities of the fire evacuation team, and it should include the fire warden
Establish a communication plan wherein a redundant, multi-channel, 2-way mass communication system is utilized
Prepare and map routes
Inform and educate about tools, including fire detectors, fire alarms, and fire extinguishers
Repeat the fire drills at least two times a year
Ensure to make use of an updated employee notification system for following up and reporting to determine the safety of everyone in the workplace
Why Are Fire Training Drills Important?
Conducting fire drills in the office are an important fire safety procedure. It is helpful and valuable for many reasons. Other than the fact that it makes sure that the employees, the customers and the visitors present in the premises understand what they should do if a fire takes place, it will facilitate a company in ascertaining the effectiveness of its fire evacuation plan and improve certain aspects if needed.
Things like fire alarms are tested during a fire training drill, along with the fire door retainers that are tend to be released whenever a fire alarm sounds, among others. The LED emergency lighting in the building is checked in the same way, together with the other precautionary and fire safety equipment.
With a fire training drill program set in place, workplaces can become a safer and more prepared space for employees, customers and visitors at any time and for any untoward events.